Mohammed Shami, the Indian fast bowler, has been a key component of the national team’s bowling attack since his international debut in 2013. He has established himself as one of the finest bowlers in world cricket, and his success can be attributed to his brute pace, accuracy, and ability to move the ball.
Recently, veteran pacer Ishant Sharma recalled former Indian skipper MS Dhoni’s first impression of Shami during a net session prior to the pacer’s debut. “I had heard of a bowler from West Indies who had a lot of pace, meaning he was very skiddy. His run-up looks normal but he bowled with a lot of pace. So, when we saw him at the net, then Mahi Bhai said, ‘Wow, he is good’,” Ishant said in an interview with Cricbuzz on their ‘Rise of New India’ show.
Later that year, Shami made his debut for the national side against the West Indies in a Test match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The pacer impressed everyone by scalping nine wickets, which included a four-wicket haul and five-wicket haul. Ishant further explained the pacer’s journey despite facing turmoil in his personal life and how he has grown as a cricketer.
“He made his debut in Kolkata. As far as I remember, he picked nine wickets and helped India win. So, after that, we also became very good friends. When he was going through some personal turmoil, whatever had happened to him, I felt he needed support from someone outside and say to him, ‘What happened, happened. If you focus on cricket, maybe things will become okay’. Maybe that is why Shami is a totally different bowler now,” Ishant added.
Shami has claimed 219 wickets in 166 innings in the Test format and has 159 and 24 wickets in the ODI and T20Is respectively for the Indian side. He has been a consistent performer for India and is considered one of the team’s key players in all formats of the game.